Two former South Carolina police officers could spend at least a year in prison for repeatedly shocking a mentally disabled woman with a Taser without giving her time to comply with their orders.
Federal prosecutors are recommending prison for Eric Walters and Franklin Brown when they are sentenced Monday after pleading guilty in October to deprivation of rights under color of law, reported the Associated Press.
Walters encountered 40-year-old Melissa Davis during an April 2013 patrol in Marion, when he spotted her leaving the yard of a home for sale and suspected she might have broken into it.
The officer asked Davis what she was doing and then shocked her with a Taser, court records show.
Walters ordered the woman to place her hands behind her back after she fell to the ground and then shocked her four more times before she had time to comply, prosecutors said.
Brown arrived at that point to provide backup, but Walters had determined that Davis had done nothing wrong and was removing the Taser probes from her back.
But Brown noticed one of the woman’s hands slip from the handcuffs – which Walters had applied improperly – and shocked Davis three more times until she rolled over to be handcuffed again.
The officer offered to let Davis go if she let him shock her with the Taser once more in the forehead.
Brown told the other officers at the scene that he had shocked Davis with the Taser because he “did not want to touch that nasty b*tch.”
Both officers are white, but court records did not indicate the woman’s race.
Federal sentencing guidelines call for 12 to 18 months in prison for Walters and 18 to 24 months for Brown, and prosecutors have said they agree with those terms.
Brown faces a stiffer penalty because Davis was in a vulnerable position when he shocked her.
Prosecutors said the officers, who were fired about three weeks later, should have known Davis was mentally disabled, and her caretaker said in a lawsuit the woman was well known in the small town.
The lawsuit seeks at least $2 million in damages.